After spending millions to renovate terminal 5 at Los Angeles International Airport, Delta is feeling cramped at LAX and has signed a letter of intent to move from terminal 5 to the dated terminal 2 and 3 at LAX. Although the airport authority (LAWA) has not agreed yet to the changed, Delta has informed LAWA of their intentions to grow at LAX by relocating terminals and securing more gates. The move would include a transformation of Terminal 2 & 3 into a world class terminal and grow the number of gates far above the 14 that Delta currently operates in Terminal 5.
Thus far, we know very little of Delta’s plan, as nobody is talking about it and even other airlines at LAX are unaware of what this could mean for them or airport operations. Only Richard Anderson is tooting his own horn as he tries to draw up support for the major shift and rebuilding of terminal 2 and 3.
If Delta is to move from Terminal 5 to terminal 2 and 3, many airlines would have to be relocated. Terminal 2 was LAX’s original international terminal, built in 1962 and rebuilt in the 80s. Terminal 2 hosts 11 gates and is used by a slew of international & domestic airlines as there is still not enough space at Tom Bradley and won’t be until the mid-field terminal opens in 2020. Current tenants of terminal 2 include Aeroméxico, Air Canada, Avianca, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Sun Country Airlines,Virgin Atlantic, Volaris, and WestJet. Terminal 3 was built in 1962 and has only had minor updates since and is home to 12 gates and Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, and Virgin America. If Delta is successful in transforming terminal 2 and 3 into one terminal they could grow at LAX from 14 gates to around 23 gates. Giving them more gates then both United and American at LAX who have 22 and 17 gates respectively at LAX.
No move at LAX is for certain yet, but Delta is lobbying the Mayor’s office at LAWA for their approve as Delta needs space for their growing operation. As Flightglobal reports, Delta is growing and is quickly running out of space.
“We’re fast on our way to becoming the airline of choice in Los Angeles,” said Ed Bastian, president of Delta, at the completion of $229 million in upgrades to its facilities in terminal five in June 2015.
He was referring to both the facility improvements as well as the air service and product improvements that the airline has made at LAX in recent years.
Delta has grown faster than any of its main competitors at the airport since 2014. Its seat capacity is up by more than a third to 620,000 this January from the same month two years ago, Innovata FlightMaps Analytics data shows.
American grew by 12.8% to 731,000 seats, Southwest by 17.1% to 492,000 seats and United shrank by 16% to 491,000 seats during the same period, according to Innovata.
Delta will continue to expand at LAX with five daily flights to Denver from 1 June and plans to shift all of its San Francisco shuttle flights to Boeing 717-200 aircraft this year.
While the renovations to terminal five and expanded service is good, Harteveldt says Delta has only set itself apart from American and United at LAX for the time being.
“As good as this is, they need something that’s better,” he says.
Will Delta get their way at LAX and move to terminal 2 & 3? That is yet to be known, but either way the old terminals need to be rebuilt or updated as neither terminal is anything but nice. Stay tuned, Delta Drama continues!